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Kolkata Knight Riders, who opened their Pepsi IPL 2014 campaign with an impressive 41-run victory over the defending champions Mumbai Indians on the opening night, will lock horns with the Delhi Daredevils in Match 6 of the season.
While KKR will come into this match buzzing with lots of positive energy, their opponents will need to recover quickly from the drubbing their received at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore. DD, whose top order was demolished in that game, recovered to post a modest 145 runs on the board, which was knocked off in quick time by Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh. It, perhaps, didn’t help DD’s cause that their regular skipper, Kevin Pietersen, was restricted to the dugout because of an injury he suffered in the lead up to the tournament and Dinesh Karthik had to be thrust the leadership baton on short notice. Question marks remain over the availability of Pietersen and DD fans will be hoping if Karthik remains captain, he ought to utilize his resources better.
KKR might be forced to rejig the combination that did the job in the previous match, because Yusuf Pathan has traveled back to India to be with his wife and newborn. Hence, there is a chance KKR will make room for either Ryan ten Doeschate or Andre Russell to add more ammunition to the batting.
Saturday, April 19, 2014, 8 pm IST
Dubai International Stadium, Dubai
The two players in the KKR line-up, whose performances have a significant bearing on the outcome of the match, are Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine. Though KKR ended up on the right side of the result in the opener, their skipper Gambhir contributed very little with the bat. He will be keen to get among the runs and lead by example.
Sunil Narine’s four overs – which come with plenty of variety not only in the type of delivery, but also the pace at which he bowls – has always caused lots of difficulty, irrespective of how much or how often a batsman has faced him previously. The trick will be for the DD batsmen to see through Narine’s spell without losing too many wickets – even if they don’t score too many runs off the 24 balls bowled by him.
In the likely absence of Kevin Pietersen, Delhi Daredevils will expect Murali Vijay to anchor one end and set a base so the likes of JP Duminy and Ross Taylor can cut loose at the end of the innings. Duminy is not the power player one often associates with T20 cricket, yet he is very effective. A very good player of spin bowling and one who can pull off unorthodox shots with little difficulty, the left-hander can keep the scoreboard ticking and can step on the accelerator when needed. In the T20 format, Taylor generally plays in overdrive mode; if he connects – and he does that quite regularly – he can deposit cricket balls into the stands on the leg-side consistently and demolish bowling attacks in a matter of moments.
Notes from previous match
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians: KKR took the conservative route to building an innings and that formula worked fairly well. They will most likely adopt the same approach – with Kallis holding firm at one end, they will allow the stroke-makers to go berserk in the final quarter of the innings.
Delhi Daredevils vs Royal Challengers Bangalore: The top four batsmen consumed a total of 34 deliveries. In a format where setting the tone early is crucial, DD will expect their batsmen to take their time in building their innings. Gary Kirsten and co. will also be aware that their spinners let the team down and will expect them to keep things quiet even if they don’t pick up wickets. Previous Meetings
Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils have so far clashed on 11 occasions. KKR have a slender edge over their opponents thanks to their 6-5 win-loss record.
KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir (together with Chris Gayle) holds the record for posting the most 50-plus scores in the IPL – 20.
KKR’s Sunil Narine has an incredible economy rate of 5.46 in the 32 IPL matches he has played.
DD’s Ross Taylor is 61 runs short of reaching 4000 runs in T20 cricket. On an average, he hits a boundary every 6 balls.
Kolkata Knight Riders will enjoy a brief break before they travel to Dubai for their next outing – against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 24. Delhi Daredevils, on the other hand, will square off next against the Chennai Super Kings at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on April 21.
With a completely revamped team, the Delhi Daredevils looked to start their Pepsi IPL 2014 campaign on a winning note. However, that was not to be as they suffered a heavy loss against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday. Their top order failed, there were catches being dropped and their bowlers were dealt with severely by the RCB batsmen.
Delhi Daredevils all-rounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla believes that his side had an off day on the field during that eight-wicket defeat, and he is hopeful that his team will come back stronger. “Murali Vijay, Dinesh Karthik and Manoj Tiwary had an off day on Thursday and we fell short by close to 25 runs. We did lose the first match, but we played some good cricket. I hope we come back strong.”
The Daredevils will only get stronger with the inclusion of their key player and skipper, Kevin Pietersen. The Englishman, however, is out with a finger injury, and it is still unclear whether he will be a part of the playing XI for the KKR game. “There will be a review on his injury tomorrow. He is one of the most valuable players in our team. We all want him to play and we are eager to see him play.”
Shukla also believes that his side is just a win away from striking form in the tournament. “It is a very bright chance that we get going in the tournament. It is just a matter of one good win. I hope we win against KKR tomorrow.”